Poetry, Why I write it
Those who don’t write poetry often wonder why anyone
would spend time on a market so unpopular and little read. I
like to think that most of the things I think and write about
are not unique to me, and that someone else having read my
poetry, might not feel as alone with their experiences.
Writing poetry gives me a place to get all of my thoughts, my
fears, and my worries, out of my head, off my shoulders, and
onto paper. It gives me a chance to release thoughts about
things and start over on whatever project I am working on. It
also gives me a way to escape from the "real world" - so to
speak - even if it is just for a moment or two. Poetry in all
its forms can be the very best way we can filter life and events
as they happen to us or to others.
Sometimes, poetry comes out as a story. Usually, all poetry
tells a story. For me, my poetry tells the story of life as I
see it, and tells the story of whatever the moment or the thing
in the moment brings to the table. At times that story is sad,
but it is a story nonetheless. These short poetic stories are
either something that has actually happened to me or some event
that I may have been witness too.
When you write poetry, you have the tendency to approach life
with curiosity and wonder. Leaves don’t ever just merely fall to
the ground. Some dive, some twist, some jet, some dawdle. Poets
are keen observers. As poets we are constantly on the lookout
for analogies, patterns and oddities in nature and in
relationships. We see things, hear things, and react to things
others don’t. Often those are “the things” we want to put into
our poems. When every syllable matters, things get intense. But
that’s where the joy is. That’s where assonance and meter and
rhyme come in. Writing poetry is about playing with language.
I have been writing “stuff” since I was eight and maybe, if you
count crayons and felt pens, perhaps even long before that. I
remember reading a book for myself as a pretty young child, and
while I did indeed struggle with the concepts of some of the
characters interactions; for the most part I pushed through and
finished it and then turned around and read it again and again.
I think reading books for a young person is indeed their own
rite of passage, and as they conquer each chapter, they look
forward to the many more pages ahead in each book as sheer
adventure and fun. At least that’s how I felt when I read my
first book. It still sits proudly upon my shelf to this day, I
thought it was great as a youngster and I still find it to be a
book that is well worth any young reader’s attention.
The book, Wild Animals I Have Known by Ernest Thompson Seton. It
fired my imagination to think of anyone able to come that close
to an animal as to have a personal experience with them as Mr.
Seton did. As a naturalist and an artist he brought those
encounters from his time in Carberry, Manitoba to life in my
mind and that to me should be the goal of every aspiring writer
or author. Whether your audience is a bunch of people in a
business meeting or the mature science fiction and fantasy
genres or perhaps preschoolers just beginning to cut their teeth
on the picture book readers, the goal is the same. We should
endeavour to put our words together so that that person, who
gave us their time and money and picked up our book, can set out
on an adventure that will take them page by page through our own
fertile and mysterious imaginations. That’s what good literature
is all about for me, that’s why I write.
Everything happens for a reason, every moment and every action,
has its beginning tied to an outcome. Our thoughts and feelings
are linked to those we are closest too, and theirs to ours. If
we can step back and simply watch our lives moving for a few
minutes, we would see the general path in which we wish to
travel. I am thankful to be able to have the perspective I have,
to also be able to see some of the paths others may wish to
travel. We are after all merely pilgrims on a great journey.
Though we don't often feel how important others may be to us in
our lives, the fact that they are in our lives speaks volumes
about who we are and how we got to where we are, and where we